Posts

Review: Time Princess - White Snake Visual Novel

Image
There was a heightened level of anticipation for the latest visual novel in the Time Princess phone game. This was the longest the app has gone without a new story in quite some time, and I was informed by some fellow social media players that the Chinese Legend of the White Snake  is incredibly popular in Asia. Although I was not familiar with it before reading this visual novel, the popular myth has had several recent film and television adaptations . Upon first glance, I was worried that this story would just be a copy of Tang Dynasty Hunter , another recent visual novel from this app, but after playing both, I realized that the similarities were purely superficial. While both stories take place in China and follow their mythology of demons as objects or animals that can transform into humans, Tang Dynasty Hunter follows a human who hunts demons, and White Snake features a demon in disguise as a human. White Snake tells the story of Suzhen, a white snake demon who spends her time

Review: The Thorn Princess

Image
After taking a brief hiatus from the weirdly specific genre of girls from the real world who find out they're actually faery princesses , I decided to take a risk and dive into  The Thorn Princess  by Bekah Harris . This wasn't the worst book I've read with this plot, but it had all the usual suspects of paranormal YA fantasy romance novels. There's the average down-on-her-luck teen protagonist who's so unremarkable that any reader can place themselves in her shoes, the quirky best friend, and the oh-so-sexy supernatural love interest who comes into her life like a whirlwind to whisk her away to a fantasy land. Despite all of these stereotypes, the story was enjoyable enough for what it was. There were no major plotholes, and the characters remained consistent throughout. However, it was so similar to other books in this genre that I felt no motivation to read more of the series once I completed it. The Thorn Princess  centers around Ivy Hawthorne, the lost heir

Why Are Princesses Always Targets?

Image
This is a sort of follow-up to my post about "How Princesses Represent Hope."  Being a princess in a fantasy world often means having a neon target on your head. I do not want to use the word "victim" because that is separate from being a target. Modern princesses are more capable than ever of defending themselves , something that has changed over time  as a direct response to the "Damsel in Distress" stigma . Yet, the fact that princesses can defend themselves from threats has not changed the fact that they are constantly being threatened. Even in stories with male leads, it is usually the princess or female love interest who is threatened, not the hero himself. Take for example Megara's binding servitude to Hades in Hercules  or Frollo's relentless obsession with Esmeralda in The Hunchback of Notre Dame . There is a reason that princesses are coveted by heroes and villains alike.   I was inspired to write this post after being introduced to yet a

Review: Enspelled

Image
This book popped up as a surprise in Aya Ling 's latest newsletter. I could not be more pleased to learn that she wrote another book along the same lines as her Unfinished Fairy Tales series , which was a guilty pleasure of mine. Both books feature girls from the real world who are transported into less-than-desirable roles in well-known fairy tales, go on a new adventure in the same setting, and live happily ever after. Enspelled  is more overtly inspired by izekai anime and manga  than the Unfinished Fairy Tales books because the main character is transported into the story of "The Goose Girl" after getting killed by a truck, which is a classic trope in modern anime. In fact, the story bears an extremely strong resemblance to an anime I watched recently called My Next Life as a Villainess . Both stories feature a girl who wakes up in the body of the villain from a story she is already familiar with after getting hit by a truck and must struggle to block all the "d

Review: The Desert Princess

Image
Melanie Cellier  is the author who introduced me to the wide world of indie authors with her first fairy tale retelling, The Princess Companion . Since then, she has written roughly a dozen more adaptations of classic fairy tales set in the same world of fairy godmothers and true love. The most recent of these is The Desert Princess . After reading so many books from the world of the Four Kingdoms already, it's a little difficult to experience a new book from these series that feels fresh and exciting. The prospect of a gender-bent "Aladdin" retelling  is nothing new, but I was eager to see Melanie's unique take on it. However, this adaptation did not add any new developments to her many other fairy tale retellings set in this world. If you have never read another Melanie Cellier book before, this is a good introduction to her storytelling style. It has become a predictable trope for all of Melanie Cellier's fairy tale books to begin with a caravan raid that sends

Review: Cinderella (Amazon Prime 2021)

Image
The wait is finally over. The newest version of   Cinderella  starring pop sensation  Camila Cabello  is one of the films that was most affected by the theater closures during the lockdown. It was supposed to be released by Sony at the beginning of this year but was sold to Amazon Prime and released today instead. Does it live up to the hype ? Many fans of the original fairy tale  and its countless adaptations frown upon "jukebox musicals" that incorporate pre-existing songs, especially when there are already so many original musical adaptations of the story, including one that was just released in England this year . Though original songs are more creative and inspirational than something I've heard on the radio a million times, I appreciate that the marketing for this movie was honest and straightforward. Plus, the film's featured original song, "Million To One,"  is incredibly catchy and fun. Cinderella  was filmed prior to the pandemic when the world w

Review: Hearts at Dawn

Image
Earlier this month, I was generously offered the opportunity to read a review copy of Hearts at Dawn  by Alysa Salzberg . This book is a historical interpretation of "Beauty and the Beast."  Though I've read many adaptations of this beloved fairy tale, Hearts at Dawn  is an original take that I don't think has ever been done before. The story is so grounded in reality that it feels like something that could have actually happened during the Franco-Prussian War. It offers a unique narrative style that reminds me of Lemony Snicket from  A Series of Unfortunate Events  with a narrator who almost never appears in the story despite her emotional involvement. This is a great book for history buffs, though it lacks the whimsy and mystery of other "Beauty and the Beast" adaptations. One thing that makes Hearts at Dawn  stand out from other versions of "Beauty and the Beast" is that it is told from the perspective of the enchantress , though she is not the

World Princess Week Wraps Up with Disney Princess Remix Special!

Image
If you haven't heard the news, Disney is celebrating its princesses all year long with the Ultimate Princess Celebration . They took things a step further this week with the first ever World Princess Week, a week-long celebration dripping with princess merchandise, videos, specials, and music. Disney is a master of grand finales, so the festivities conclude today with a 30-minute special called Disney Princess Remixed: An Ultimate Princess Celebration airing on Disney Channel at 7:30PM PT/ET. The special is available to watch right now on both the Disney Now and Disney Plus apps. It consists of four remixed Disney Princess songs performed by teen Disney Channel stars and ends with the premiere of the official music video for the newest Disney Princess anthem, "Starting Now." Even if you're not a fan modernized Disney remakes , there were still plenty of fun princess things released this week to brighten our day. My favorite aspect of the Ultimate Princess Celebrat

Did Disney Just Kick Laura Osnes Out of Her Own Concert?

Image
When Disney announced this year's Ultimate Princess Celebration , they simultaneously teased a touring concert called Disney Princess: The Concert , which had way too many familiar names in it to be just a coincidence. It was later confirmed that this concert was none other than Laura Osnes's Broadway Princess Party , an intimate event that I had seen twice . I had a great deal of respect for the fact that it celebrated all princess musicals, regardless of which studio owned them, which is why I became concerned when I learned that the show had been sold to the mouse. Laura Osnes would not be the first wide-eyed innocent to sign a contract with Disney having no idea how it might affect her future and reputation. At the time, I seemed to be the only person who was skeptical about the possible negative ramifications of selling out. Now, it seems that Laura Osnes has paid the ultimate price for signing away the passion project that she started with music director Benjamin Rauhala

Review: The Beast and the Enchantress

Image
The Beast and the Enchantress  by Camille Peters  is the first book in a new collaborative series of fairy tale retellings called A Villain's Ever After . Each week for the next three months, a new villain-inspired book will be released by a new author, many of whose fairy tale books I have reviewed in the past. The series follows the latest trend in which villains are treated like princesses or heroes  who made mistakes or were misunderstood. This trend first gained popularity ten years ago with Gregory Maguire's Wicked  in 2011 and its corresponding musical and has grown exponentially in  recent pop culture and animation . Though I may not have time to read every book in the Villain's Ever After series, I was fortunate to receive an ARC of The Beast and the Enchantress , which just came out this weekend. This is the second adaptation of "Beauty and the Beast"  I have read by Camille Peters. The story is quite different from Enchantment , so it didn't feel li

The Princess Blog Turns Four!

Image
Those of you who are subscribed to my author newsletter  should have received an email yesterday letting you know that it was the fourth anniversary of The Princess Blog! I started my blog a few days after my actual birthday, so I was busy celebrating that yesterday at another enchanted maze room , which is why this post is a day late. For my third anniversary last year, I offered a special deal on the three books from The Stolen Trilogy , which I had just finished writing at the time. Since then, I've combined all three books into a digital box set on Amazon Kindle , which I am offering a special deal on for this weekend only. Instead of the normal listing price, you can get the complete Kindle edition of the trilogy for just $0.99. Today is the last day this promotion will be available, so you'll have to act quickly if you don't want to miss it! In honor of four years of princess love, here are the four Magical Girls from the anime Go! Princess Precure to cheer you on

Review: Time Princess - Princess Sissi Visual Novel

Image
The latest visual novel in the Time Princess app  shares similarities with the game's first story, Queen Marie . Both are historical narratives about royal European women who made an impact on their time period. Princess Sissi is much shorter and follows a linear story path, while Queen Marie has numerous different branches the player can take based on their decisions. I learned about Princess Sissi after someone recommended the Saban cartoon  to me about two years ago. I expected the new visual novel to be similar, yet it only contained the events that were portrayed in the show's first episode. Even though I already knew everything that was going to happen, but it was still nice to play as a character I was already familiar with. This visual novel only explores an early portion of Sissi's life before she became empress. It would have been interesting to see a second chapter about her experiences trying to rule Austria and how she struggled with trying to satisfy both side